French Terms Related to Hanukkah and Judaism

Celebrate Hanukkah in French

Mother and daughter lighting Hanukkah menorah
Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival of survival and freedom that lasts for eight days. Learn some French vocabulary related to this annual Jewish celebration.

Le Nom du Festival ~ The Name of the Festival

Because Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday with a Hebrew name, it may be spelled several different ways:

  • English spellings: Hanukkah, Hanukah, Hanukka, Chanukah

    French spellings: Hanoucca, Hannouccah, Hanouccah, Hanoukka

    Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights (la Fête des Lumières) and the Feast of Dedication (la Fête des dédicaces).

    Les Dates de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Dates

    Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev, the ninth month in the Jewish calendar, and lasts for eight days. It occurs on a different date every year of the Gregorian (solar) calendar - sometime in November or December.

    La Nourriture de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Food

    Food is a big part of the Hanukkah celebration. Most of the traditional foods are fried in oil, in remembrance of the oil that lasted for eight days, while others are made with dairy products (in commemoration of the Jewish heroine Judith [Yehudit]):

    cheese   le fromage

    doughnut   un beignet

    to fry   frire

    milk   le lait

    oil   huile (feminine)

    potato pancake (latke)   une galette aux pommes de terre

    sour cream   la crème aigre

    More: Food in French

    Vegetarian Hanukkah recipes

    Le Vocabulaire de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Vocabulary

    Here are the French translations for some terms related to Hanukkah, as well as Judaism in general:

    blessing   une bénédiction

    candle   une bougie

    December   décembre

    door   une porte

    Dreidel (spinning top)   la toupie

    eight days   huit jours

    family   la famille

    game   un jeu

    gift   un cadeau

    Jewish   juif

    kosher   casher, kasher

    menorah   la Ménorah

    miracle   un miracle

    November   novembre

    pocket money   argent de poche

    prayer   une prière

    Sabbath   le sabbat

    song   une chanson

    sunset   le coucher de soleil

    temple   le temple

    victory   la victoire

    window   une fenêtre

    To learn more about Hanukkah, please click one of the links below.